Understanding the Coronavirus

COVID-19 and how it is spread

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

COVID-19 symptoms

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • fever

  • cough

  • shortness of breath

The symptoms generally do not appear until 2 to 14 days of exposure which means someone who seems healthy can infect others.

Vaccine and Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.


There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.